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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wrong title
This shouldn't be called the "complete" Shakespeare, but "complete plus". Typically for Delphi, they've added a wealth of extra material that adds richness to the text. I'm working through Macbeth, for example, and the Chronicles by Holinshead that Shakespeare uses as a source reveals just what a transformation he wrought. And how revealing is the political background to...
Published on 9 Mar 2012 by Mr. A. N. Kersten

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No contents, no index - not really optimised. Don't buy it
This version does not have a contents page at all, nevermind an interactive one. Therefore impossible to navigate easily.
Published on 12 July 2011 by Mrs Sara L Parkin


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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wrong title, 9 Mar 2012
By 
Mr. A. N. Kersten "Anselm" (Leicestershire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This shouldn't be called the "complete" Shakespeare, but "complete plus". Typically for Delphi, they've added a wealth of extra material that adds richness to the text. I'm working through Macbeth, for example, and the Chronicles by Holinshead that Shakespeare uses as a source reveals just what a transformation he wrought. And how revealing is the political background to the play outlined by Samuel Johnson in his notes - James I's accession to the throne and the Gunpowder Plot. And then there's the additional Shakespeare, in the form of the apocryphal plays and poems. I didn't even know this stuff existed! This collection will help me explore the immortal Bard for decades to come.

I suppose that, if you dug hard enough, you'd be able to save yourself a couple of quid and get all of this stuff, including the extras and the apocryphal works, for free. I started down that road, but what you get is a lot of different formats of varying quality, many without active ToCs - which makes navigation a decided chore, if not practically impossible. And what about searching? If I wanted to find a particular word in one play, for example - no problemo. But what if I wanted to find if the Bard had ever used it? Only a complete collection will perform that trick in no time, and Delphi's ToC is as detailed and therefore as useful as I've come to expect from them.

I said that maybe you could find all of the material in this collection for free, but actually I seriously doubt it. For £1.87, quite frankly it's not worth looking, even without the objection in the previous paragraph. And what additional material! One literary genius - be it Johnson, Tolstoy, Coleridge or Victor Hugo - speaking about another is worth it on its own. There are then three layers: the 16th century Shakespeare, mediated by the 18th, 19th or 20th century Hazlitt or Shaw, speaking to us in the 21st. That's a fascinating study by itself.

A previous reviewer has castigated the edition for its errors, which make it "useless". I didn't put the word "errors" in speech marks, because undeniably there are some. I'm not enough of a Shakespeare buff to pick wrong words (and with the variety of sources available, especially for "King Lear", this task must be a fraught one indeed), but the formatting could do with improvement. A minor glitch concerns stage directions, which occasionally aren't differentiated from the text. In Macbeth Act I scene 3, for example, according to Delphi's text the Third Witch says "Here I have a pilot's thumb / Wreck'd as homeward he did come / Drum within". Obviously the last two words haven't been italicised as they should have been. There are several examples scattered throughout the text, and I'm guessing that would apply throughout the collection.

A more serious criticism concerns my inability to point you, gentle reader, to the exact line number for the reference above. There are no line numbers in the text, which makes it awkward when you come across (for example) a reference to Thomas Middleton's authorship of Act IV Scene 1 lines 39-43 and 125-132 (the first being Hecate's lines). Mere counting doesn't seem to get me anywhere sensible with the second lot of lines. It would be good to have line numbers, as all printed editions seem to do.

However, I think the reviewer's negative comments are completely off the mark. If he was a Shakespeare scholar looking to weigh the significance of every word, fair enough - every error would be serious. But I'm not, and I'm guessing that most of you aren't either - we're general readers, for whom 98% accuracy is enough. But then, if he was a Shakespeare scholar he wouldn't be using an edition like this, but rather a critical one with all the critical apparatus of extensive and scholarly footnotes. Delphi's edition is more than fit for purpose, which is why I'm giving it five stars despite my (minor) criticisms above.

There's another reason for the five stars despite the errors. Delphi updates their editions for free - frequently, as you can see from their website. I've just done that with this Shakespeare, and I didn't even purchase it from Delphi direct, but from Amazon. I thought I'd put Delphi to the test, so I emailed Amazon's support department and asked for the free update. Within 24 hours it was on my Kindle. This free updating is Delphi's advantage over any other complete collection I've come across, and it's the reason why I've learned since I got my Kindle for Christmas to stick with them unless there's a reason a darn sight more compelling than any of the negative ones I've written about here. And no, I have no connection with Delphi - I've just been walking around in a perpetual daze over the last couple of months at how much is available for free on Kindle, and how much you can get for next to nothing - with Delphi, it seems, being the pick of the crop.
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73 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Complete Works Of Shakespeare, 3 Feb 2005
I was looking for a book which contained the plays of Shakespeare as I needed to select which would be most appropriate to use as a drama workshop. I chose this book because it was very cheap.
The book is very chunky and it features ALL his plays and major poems/sonnets. Each page has two columns of text in very small print, so if you don't have good eye sight, I wouldn't recommend this book. It's also quite smudgy and the text is quite cramped. I don't feel this book is suitable to work from, to annotate etc.. However, it is as useful as a dictionary when it comes to looking up quotes and is brilliant to have around in order to recommend speeches to students. It also has a very useful Glossary at the back for those words which are uncommon/not used nowadays and includes information from the original folio.
To summarise... a book very worth the money, useful as a point of reference but not a book to be worked from.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare for true geeks, 31 Oct 2006
By 
Ms. K. J. Roe "tweety_poo55" (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
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If shakespeare is your bag, then this book is perfect. It has all the plays (including some of the more random) as well as a collection of his sonnets and poems. Each page has some illustration with a quote taken from one of his classic stories and the pages are well laid out and easy to read

The book is beautifully presented with a golden internal spine and certainly had a real weight and quality to it.

The only criticism i could make is that it is large, and heavy (my book self struggled) but it really is worth building a new bookself just for this collection. It is a real treasure to have and i thoroughly reccomend it.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare, with understandable footnotes on modern meaning, 15 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This book, although expensive is just simply wonderful. The book contains all of shakespeares plays, poems and sonnets which puts a different meaning to the statement "complete works". Also, not only does the book give excellent essays on each play it also gives you exceptionally good footnotes on the modern meaning of difficult text within the play, with a usefull line index as to where these meanings come up. These notes are so helpfull I have not seen their equivalent or anything near it in any other edition of Shakespeares complete works. For those of you who have had problems in understanding Shakespeare, this book is your savior. Certainly a best buy in my opinion. Well done Bevington.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Option I Could Find, 25 Nov 2011
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This is Shakespeare. What you don't need from me here is a review of the content, suffice it is to say his works are presented here complete and unabridged, and the added content is extensive and intriguing, especially to any scholars of The Bard out there.

Having sampled a number of 'Complete' editions for Kindle, it soon became apparent that there were a range of options, all with their own pros, cons and quirks, from poorly presented text (e.g. one had everything wedged together, no line breaks and only italics used to separate dialogue from everything else), lacking (or absent) contents pages and shoddy (or absent) browsing, to misplaced stage-directions and even missing lines (seriously!).

The stand-alone plays seem to fair much better in the formatting department than the complete works, but if it's a single collection you want, with all the trimmings, then this DELPHI CLASSICS edition is the edition I'd recommend (be sure to check the link at the top of this review, as reviews seem to be shared across a range of similar products). As I said at the beginning, this particular edition contains not only the complete plays and sonnets, but a vast array of additional works and extras to compliment and flesh-out everything (including biographies, illustrations, photographs, background information on each work, etc.). It features a full and fully-linked contents page, as well as linked contents to each individual work, and, although the text is a little cramped, it is clear enough to easily distinguish between character, dialogue and stage-direction.

As far as I can tell, no Complete Works collection on Kindle is perfect, but this Delphi Classics edition appears to be the best of the bunch.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Had to get the extra plays, 4 Jan 2011
I am very happy with this collection. It has all the elements I was hoping to get and a little more as well. I was looking for a complete Shakespeare, with all his plays and poems in it. Also, I was looking for something easy to read and navigate through.

So I was very happy to find this collection. I am most excited about these extra plays that I get in addition to the regular ones I wanted. As soon as I saw that I knew I had to have this collection. Also, I found it nice to read and I discovered I can read it both holding my Kindle vertical or horizontal. Its also simple to navigate.

So nothing more I could ask for :)
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars big iphone fan, 19 Feb 2011
By 
Dermot Nolan "Spruce" (Oxford) - See all my reviews
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I bought this and a load of other free kindle books for iphone at the same time.
I find it great; stuck in a queue, whip out the iphone and read a bit of Shakespeare. I have so far read Henry IV part 1, which I studied in school and Henry the IV part 2, which completed something I'd wanted to do for years. I have a book version of the complete works, but it is too unweildly to read, other than sitting at a table. Thumbs up to Will I am S.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shakespeare, 3 Dec 2011
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again another great product from amazon and the companies they use,im in the middle of reading hamlet at the moment and im enjoying it more than i thought i would, iv herd people rant about hamlet and just thought they were just being snobby but i must say its a fantastic read, im looking forward to reading all the other shakespeare plays ect.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a collection!!, 21 Mar 2011
I was stunned when I saw this collection come up in the search results. I wanted a full set of Shakespeare's works for my Kindle and I was hoping for a few bonus features, but when I saw this, I was just stunned. It has all the plays I wanted, all the poems, plus these extra ones. And on top of that it has all this awesome commentary and biographies! I am a big fan of the classics and Shakespeare is one of my favourite author, his words and poetry are so wonderful. So having all these extras that explain and talk more about it is just amazing! I also found the layout to be simple and straightforward with a very nice table of contents. All in all, I can say I am so happy to have found it!
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars England's greatest writer, 11 Aug 2004
William Shakespeare is renowned for being England's greatest writer, and arguably the greatest writer the World has ever known. Most people will have come across Shakespeare in one form or another, whether it be reading him at school, hearing his works quoted, or seeing a film that is based on one of his plays. The borrowings from Shakespeare are wide and varied, and many day to day sayings such as "Cruel to be kind", "Too much of a good thing" and "Wild-goose chase" all have their origins in Shakespeare.
This book is a collection of all 37 plays, all 152 sonnets and some of his longer poems. They don't have to be read in order, and there is no reason to read all of them in one sitting - it's just great to be able to pick up a single volume to be able to read 'King Lear', or 'Hamlet', or 'Henry V' whenever the mood takes you. There is something for every mood here, from lightweight comedy to dark, harrowing tragedy.
My only criticism is that with a book this large it is often hard to keep a softcover edition in good condition. It needs a little more looking after, so if you want to keep this fantastic collection of literary works in good condition, do yourself a favour and get a hardcover edition, but for those on a budget, this is an ideal way to get your hands on some of the greatest literature ever written!
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The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Wordsworth Library Collection)
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